OpenRent Community

Replacing a sofa

Hi,
We recently moved into a flat. We are renting it through an agency. The flat is a bit dated but we got it for a good price and as there is a breaking clause after 6 months we thought we give it a try and see how it works out. When we moved in we have noticed a few issues, leaking taps, faulty oven, etc. These things nobody can see before moving in and starting to use the place. We have a large sofa in the living room, from outside it looked alright, but when we sat down on it, it had deep gaps in the cushions on the seating bit and you can feel the springs pushing against your bottom. It’s extremely uncomfortable and definitely not fit for use anymore. It turned out that the previous tenants lived there for years and they just didn’t care about it, and moved out. The sofa itself is at least 20 year old if not more, or it’s more recent and the tenants abused it and broke it carelessly. The landlord permitted me to replace the sofa and to remove the old one but at my own expense. I will have to take the new sofa with me when moving out. I didn’t speak with the owner, all communication is through the agency. They didn’t say anything else, didn’t give me any reason. I think that the landlord has the legal obligation to fix or to replace any furniture that he provided in the flat if they’re not fit for use anymore. I checked online and that is what I found. Is it true? What can I do to pursue this?
Thank you,

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If you have rented the flat furnished and the sofa is in the inventory then it should be replaced. Check the inventory and put all your communication in writing to the agent so you have a record. If they call you then email them straight back with a confirmation of the call and reiterate in writing what was said and discussed.
Any furniture such as sofas, beds etc have to comply with current fire regulations and should have a tag on them by the manufacturer which states this. So if the sofa was 20 years old it would not have passed current regulations.

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Thank you for your answer. I just checked and there is this label on the sofa, where it says it’s fire proof or something similar. So I can’t get it replaced on that principle. My question is, if the sofa is not fit for use or broken although it complies with the fire regulation, can I still get it replaced?

Yes if the flat is let furnished and the sofa is mentioned in the inventory.
Get back onto the agent and tell them in writing it is not fit for purpose and you need a new one.
Be aware the landlord could still replace it with a second hand one of his choice (as long as that one is not knackered too).
Get anything you agree put in writing including if you end up buying your own and what will happen with the old one etc. i.e. agent/landlord have said they are happy for you to dispose of it. Not that it should be your job if it’s broken. Just to cover yourself, if at the end of the tenancy the landlord turns round and says you didn’t have permission to dispose of it.

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Thank you. I am a bit concerned that I might end up with another damaged or old sofa if it was up to the owner. If I buy my own, I will have to take it with me and I already have quite a few pieces of furniture. At first I thought that the landlady could give me a price limit within I could look around and just deduct it from the rent, but I guess I was naive. At least that is what I would do if I was the landlady. Is there a way of telling the landlady to show us the sofa before she buys anything for us? Or I would just have to go with whatever she got for us?

Hi.
Legally the landlady can chose but it would be worth emailing the agent and asking if they will pass on your request.
Landlords usually prefer neutral colours and designs bearing in mind they will have to please the next tenant too.
If there are other issues such as you describe maybe the landlord wouldn’t be too bothered about the actual furniture but sounds as if they might not be the type of person to supply new either.
If you got your own and are in a position to do this if you moved would it possible to rent somewhere unfurnished next time ? Obviously that may not fit in with your plans in life. Or you could have a look at second hand sofas. People can’t give them away these days so you might be able to get a bargain.
Landlady should be fixing all the things you mention and don’t think it’s your job to dispose of a sofa that is clearly broken.

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fireproof covering for sofas has been in for many years. Pity you did not sit on it when you visited. . Sometimes a moving tenant has just left a sofa behind . I have thrown out leather sofas and nearly new ones. To the tip!!. I never furnish as its just more to look after. A charity shop might point you in the direction of a good s/hand sofa. or you can be back and forth to agent/landlord and get nowhere

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You would have a hard time forcing the landlord to replace the sofa if they decline as the law on this is not straightforward. Sofas are not part of a landlords section 11 repairing obligations so you would be reliant on consumer legislation or health and safety legislation, which is much more untested in such circumstances. The key principle is that when the tenant takes possession they accept the property along with fixtures and fittings as they are. If the sofa is dangerous you may be able to force them to repair it, but only to the point where its not.

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Thank you for your answer. I think you’re right, I will probably just let this one go. It’s not worth the hassle. Even if she replaced the sofa, she doesn’t have to provide me with a new one, I could easily end up with a similar item. I buy something not too expensive and I will just take it with me. Although, I accepted the property the way it was when I signed the contract, but what about hidden issues that are not so obvious? If something was broken or damaged by the previous tenants, surely I wouldn’t have to put up with that? Is it not negligence on the landlady’s side not to rectify issues in the flat before renting it out again? Overall, I am not happy, don’t like her approach.

anything broken in the property that is part of the structure you can easily ask her to sort it , its more difficult with furniture

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I think for future reference ask by email, (so you get it in writing) whether all the appliances are in full working order. Test beds and sofas and study the inventory for details of the condition of the furniture and fittings.

Incidently, if its a fitted oven, I think it becomes the landlords duty to fix it.

integrated white goods are landlords responsibility. That is why I dont supply white goods

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Yes, she already replaced the oven. It took her 3 weeks… I know that it’s more complicated with furniture. I got the bed removed before moving in, we have our own bed with a special mattress. Overall, we are very particular about our bed. I think, I will buy a sofa myself then next time I will go for an unfurnished flat. It’s better to go for unfurnished in case you don’t like the furniture but the flat itself is good.

I guess you’re a landlord. I am quite angry with negligent tenants and careless landlords. I am always treating my rental property as my own. I look after it, reporting leaking taps, condensation, etc… I don’t know the landlady but she must’ve had bad experiences if she is so reluctant changing the sofa.

i am a landlord I decorate and fit carpets .The furnishings are up to the tenants. That is very fair

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I wouldn’t mind to furnish my rental property. Although, if she provided the sofa it’s probably not too much to ask for it to be replaced. I came to know that the previous tenants lived here for 7 years. If she has to buy a new sofa every 7 to 10 years it’s not such a big deal.

i think renting furnished will always have its problems, as you may not like the furniture ,it gets old or broken. the colour may be wrong, Best always to choose your own

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I agree. Some landlords are just cheapskates. I hope you’re luckier in other aspects of the tenancy.

Hey,

Weird turn of events. Now the landlady is basically getting rid of the sofa by booking a bulky waste collection with the council. She is still reluctant to buy a new sofa though. She is admitting that the sofa she provided for us, is no better than trash but won’t replace it. I don’t think that I can see ourselves living in this property for long as I don’t like her attitude and approach toward this. She is cheap.

Exactly. The beauty of renting is that you can take your business elsewhere.